The incredible year of acclaim continues for The Barbarian Invasions.
The film, which won director Denys Arcand an Oscar for best Foreign-Language Film, led the way Tuesday as the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announced the nominees for the 24th Annual Genie Awards - the top prize in Canadian cinema.
The Barbarian Invasions, which has already won top prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, at the French Cesars and the Quebec Jutra awards, is nominated for best film. Mr. Arcand is also nominated for best director and best original screenplay.
Three of the five Best Motion Picture nominees are Quebec films, with La Face cachée de la lune and La Grande Séduction also up for the award. Owning Mahowny, the story of Bay Street banker and gambling addict Dan Mahowny, and Charles Martin Smith's The Snow Walker round out the field.
Robert Lepage, for La Face cachée de la lune, Guy Maddin, for The Saddest Music in the World and Jean-Francois Pouliot, for La Grande séduction, are up against Arcand and Smith in the best director category.
Molly Parker and Sarah Polley are both up in the Best Actress category. Parker is nominated for her work in Marion Bridge, the story of three Chekhovian sisters and their terminally ill mother. Polley is nominated for her role in My Life Without Me, a Vancouver-set drama about a young mother who is given two months to live.
Rebecca Jenkins, for Marion Bridge, Micheline Lanctot, for Comment ma mère accoucha de moi durant sa ménopause and Karine Vanasse, for Séraphin: Un homme et son péché are also nimnated in the category.
Campbell River, B.C. native Barry Pepper leads the way in the Best Actor category for The Snow Walker. He'll be up against his 25th Hour co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman, who is nominated for Owning Mahowny.
Also nominated are Raymond Bouchard, for La Grande séduction, Remy Girard, for Les invasions barbares and Robert Lepage, for La Face cachée de la lune.
CHUM Television, producer and broadcaster of The 2004 Genie Awards, also announced Tuesday that it is bringing a new look to the awards show. The traditional two-hour theatre-style production is gone, replaced by what is being called a "glamorous awards dinner and after-party schmooze."
"What a great year for Canadian film and a great opportunity for CHUM to kick off a new approach to the Genie presentation," said Marcia Martin, vice president of production at CHUM Television and executive producer of the show.
"We've changed the venue, done away with the auditorium seating and added the Post-Genies Schmooze - a live, unrehearsed show that takes you inside the Genie party to meet the stars up-close. The Schmooze is the kind of off-the- cuff show where anything can happen."
The 24th annual Genies will be televised Saturday, May 1st. Scott Thompson, formerly of Kids in the Hall and the Larry Sanders Show, will host.